Iain Gilchrist; Chrystal Cherniwchan
Heidy Mader; Chrystal Cherniwchan
Dek Woolfson; Chrystal Cherniwchan
Jonathan Richards; Chrystal Cherniwchan
Ruza Ivanovic; Chrystal Cherniwchan
Staff and students of the Science Faculty
The University of Bristol Science Faculty is world-leading in its research and teaching – with some of the most significant discoveries of the last century associated with research carried out in Bristol.
These portraits, by photographer Chrystal Cherniwchan, are another way to tell the stories of the people – undergraduate and postgraduate students, academics and staff – that make up the Faculty of Science.
This project has felt more like a gift than a commission. It is incredibly exciting and inspiring to talk to people about their passions, and I hope some of that is revealed in the portraits. The faculty and students have been extremely generous with their time, and I loved the conversations we had, and the text they supplied to accompany their portraits.
More about Chrystal Cherniwchan.
Professor Iain Gilchrist, Experimental Psychology
Understanding the brain is one of the intellectual challenges of the 21st Century. The brain generates our vivid perceptual experience and allows us to interact with our environment to change and shape it. It is the brain that determines behaviour and it is changes in behaviour that will lie at the heart of solutions to many of the challenges that society faces including climate change, addiction, obesity and conflict.
Dr Heidy Mader, Earth Sciences
Volcanoes are big, beautiful, complex and dangerous. I am interested in the physics of the flow processes that occur during volcanic eruptions. We study these via laboratory experiments, numerical modeling and field observations often with other scientists as an interdisciplinary team. I like it that this fundamental research will help people who live near volcanoes.
Professor Dek Woolfson, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Dek Woolfson's group apply principles and methods from chemistry and physics to biological problems. They have a specific interest in understanding how protein molecules, which are linear polymers, fold up into functional, three-dimensional structures. Not content with observing natural systems, the Woolfson group applies its understanding to design new proteins molecules for applications in synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and medicine.
Dr Ruth Oulton, Physics
I am using semiconductors to make a new type of ultra-fast computer - the "quantum computer" - that performs logic operations using the rules of quantum mechanics. My research involves experimenting on new types of quantum devices to see if they meet the very stringent requirements for such a quantum computer, and to explore the unusual ways in which they behave.
Jonathan Richards (UG), Physics
I love answering questions. Spending afternoons in a pub telling my friend why nuclear power can power things and explaining to my landlady why a microwave is safe and that we definitely do need one for the flat. I am also equally fond of not answering questions. Being asked why planes can fly upside down, drawing a blank, spending two hours trying to find out and not finding any solid answer. I still don't know for certain why planes don't fall like a stone as soon their wings are flipped. But I did find out that my assumption that two bits of air separated at the front of an airplane's wing join back up at the back of it is wrong. And that how a wing generates lift normally isn't fully understood. That's why I study physics.
Ruza Ivanovic (PG), Geographical Sciences
My work focuses on studying the interactions between ocean circulations and global climate, primarily looking at the exchange of water between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. In the lab, I measure the isotopic composition of microscopic fossils found in ancient ocean sediments (up to several million years old) and use this information to reconstruct past ocean currents. I also run state of the art general circulation models to assess the way these ocean currents are represented and to study their influence on global climate.
More about Staff and students of the Science Faculty.